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Thursday, May 03, 2007

free speed (or how to make your bike light and aero)

step #1 -- clean it. okay, I keep my bikes pretty clean, but digging a pound of gunk out of the pulley wheels will definitely make you go faster.

step #2 -- change from heavy powertap training wheels to carbon tubulars. while I'd love to pace with power on Sunday, I'd rather use my super-slick race wheels.

step #3 -- remove the saddle bag (small but heavy with one tube, 2 CO2 cartridges, 1 CO2 adaptor, 2 tire levers, a patch kit and a pair of tweezers).

step #4 -- remove two of three computers. yeah, I don't need a bike computer with cadence, a powertap, and the garmin. not only do they add weight, but the cables make the bike less aero (even though I've got them taped to the down tube). don't forget to remove spoke and crank magnets, too!

step #5 -- remove one bottle cage. yeah, I'd like to do this race on Sunday without a bottle, but the reality is that I don't deal with heat well and having a little caloric boost will just make me faster. and, there is evidence that having one bottle is more aero than having no bottles.

step #6 -- add wings!!!

so, my 18.5 pound bike (with all the excess crap) weighed in at just under 16 pounds -- not bad for a tall girl.

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At 5/03/2007 5:14 PM, Blogger chatterbox said...

yeah, and now that you have your helmet and magic pink booties back from the mooch, you will Flyyyyyyyyy. Good luck!

At 5/03/2007 7:07 PM, Blogger Chris said...

I agree with all of your points. Especially the washing your bike part. I wash my bike about once every other week. A clean bike and well lubed bike just seems faster.

I follow all of your other rules except to take off my extra water bottle cage when I race.

At 5/03/2007 7:59 PM, Blogger Kimberly Turner said...

good luck in your race! Good tips! My bike goes from 18 to 17 pounds when I do that! Although in my last RR I left on the seat bag...because there was no neutral wheel support...and didn't want to have to walk 10 miles in 100 degree heat if I got a flat! Of course, because I had it, I didn't get a flat, and was probably slower on the hills because of it!

At 5/03/2007 9:18 PM, Blogger velogirl said...

a clean bike is a fast bike. there's also the psychological aspect of a clean bike (and the ritual involved in cleaning it).

Kimberly, try putting the contents of your saddle bag in your jersey pocket. in my case, I'm running tubulars, so I won't need to contents of my saddle bag.

At 5/04/2007 9:08 AM, Blogger Kimberly Turner said...

good idea...saddle bag was looking so non-pro in the last race, anyway! IF only I had tubulars...maybe when I upgrade :-).

At 5/04/2007 9:52 AM, Blogger CyclistRick said...

... and you had trimmed a good couple of ounces off the bike when you switched saddles a few weeks back.

I guess your comment about not needing the contents of the seat bag due to tubulars implies you are not planning on flats. Even a really nice Vittoria EVO CX weighs more than levers and a tube, but they do ride really nice. Terry Shaw always says "ride expensive tubulars and cheap clinchers"; I follow half that philosophy :-)

Good luck at the Tri; looks like the weather will be much better than 2 or 3 years ago when the bike course was in good cross condition with mud everywhere.

At 5/04/2007 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a clean bike is a fast bike"

I totally agree...although it's all in the head I think...whatever helps!

At 5/04/2007 4:11 PM, Blogger X Bunny said...

a happy bike is a fast bike

or so they tell me


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